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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  June 22, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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thursday, 8:15 p.m. east coast time. check it out. a new movement will be born and it'll include the roots. >> all right, van jones, press and co-founder of rebuild a dream. >> thank you. >> check me out on young an "hardball" starts right now. >> war on trial. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews from washington. leading off tonight, getting out. when president obama announced the troop surge in 2009, he said we must deny al qaeda a safe haven, reverse the taliban momentum and help afghanistan take control of its own destiny. in three hours now, he's likely
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to say we've made progress a all three fronts and it's time to pull back. it will probably be too much for the right, too little for the left, but no question americans are growing increasingly impatient with its war and its costs. >> that's our top story tonight. in between, hundreds of thousands have been killed or wounded in iraq and afghanistan. my question tonight, did all that death and horror play any role in catching and killing bin laden. plus al gore comes out to criticize the president. in a 7,000-word piece in "rolling stone" he says president obama hasn't made the case for action on global >> steven colbert solves the
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problem of his voergs of the generic republican candidate. it's in the side show show. we will have presidential coverage beginning at 8 eastern wp we start with the strategy for afghanistan. the president's expected to announce will it remove 5,000 troops this summer, another 5,000 by the end of the year and 20,000 bit end of next year. the latest poll fines 56,000 americans said we should remove troops as soon as possible. that's an all-time high. senator boxer, democrat from california, member of the foreign relations committee joins us now. senator boxer, what do you make of this? if 10,000 in th year, 20,000 next year, still 70,000 in country. your thought? >> well, i think that number one, we're not positive of what he is going to say. it is three years but i'm going to say that you may have the right information there. if you do, this is my response,
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the good news for me tonight is that we're going to see you know, this longest american war start to come to an end. the news that may not be exactly what i want to hear is that it's going at a slower pace than i think is necessary. chris, when the president announced at the second surge, the first surge was 17,000 troops i supported him. he said this afghan war was neglected, we have to catch osama bin laden, and i thought he was right. now that has been done. the second surge, 30,000 troops. that mission, must come to an end. and that mission right now is counter insurgency. which means we have boots on the ground going door to door almost side by side with the afghans. it is time for the afghans to step up to the plate. the president said the 30,000 surge was temporary. if it was temporary, he announced it in december of '09.
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those 30,000 troops should be brought home by the end of this year. and the mission should change. to one of counterterrorism and traying the afghan soldiers because we have already trained almost 300,000 but they need more training. look there's 50 al qaeda left. that's according to leon pi netta. we don't need all of our traps there now. we need just the small force, about 25,000 as i said sooe it, and we can get down there, according to the experts, to that level of force, under 18 months, 12 to 18 months. >> if we can survive over there, effectively with just a training mission of say 25,000 troops, why do we keep 70,000 there for the duration? what do we get done that we couldn't get done by leaving tomorrow morning? what is getting accomplished over there by a combat mission? >> well, have you hit the nail
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on the head here. it is a question of what the mission is. you don't just say, i'm going to bring home so many people without putting it to a mission. that's the question. right now it is a counter insurgency mission. i think it is time to change it so it is counter stris em and training the troops. and protecting the personnel that we have there. so the experts tell me you can do that with 25 those and within 12 to 18 months. but i have to say as i reread what our great president said, and listen, we have to give credit where credit is due. i may not agree with everything he says because i think that 30,000 ought to come home bit end of the year. it was the surge. it was the temporary. change the mission, do it. but we have to give credit. this is the commander-in-chief that did finally get osama bin laden. and this is the commander-in-chief who is ending the iraq war. we will have all of our troops gone out of iraq by the end of this year.
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so my heart is with the president. i know that he's been, you know, really working this through. he has voices on one and another. i hope he listened to all of the voices. i think at the end of the day he said the 30,000 would be temporary. and i took him at his word and i hope we see a quicker that will kal ender than i think we will see. >> senator boxer, i believe you became an activist the way a lot of us did, maybe because of the war in vietnam. isn't it odd to have a republican like huntsman to the left on this huntsman saying it is about keeping our competitive edge with china et cetera. how does it make you feel having a republican, to use to your phrase kwb wolf blitzer to your left. >> i think i think it great that republicans have decided they don't love every single war thp is th is good. if it is real, i think it should be embraced but the fact is this president knew when he came into
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office that afghanistan was neglected. look i voted to go after bin laden. and george bush turned totally around and went into iraq and ne glebtd afghanistan the the president came in and i think he has is r done what he said he would do. he is training the afghan troops. the thing is when i hear karzai say some of the things he says which is you are occupiers, you are this, you're that be think it is time to change that mission and get our troops out of there at a quicker, at a quicker pace. >> thank you so much. senator boxer from california. the afghan study group an former marine corps captain, a hell after record behind him np in 2009 resigning from the diplomatic place he had in afghanistan. let's get to your view. i asked this question to the senator. what are we getting done that in the next three years and we lost a thousand lives of americans
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since the president took office, this president. what will be akblish accomplished if we string this out through 2014? >> not much. false security. al qaeda is not there. you look at where al qaeda attacked us from. look at the last attacks, where are they from in from connecticut, from nigeria. a guy from denver. a guy in fort hood. >> so what are we fighting there? >> we are involved in -- that's a civil war. when we went there in 2001, it was the right thing to do, chris. but what we got involved in is someone else's civil war. we intervened and took one side. it is a multisided conflict. there is ethnic things, regional things. a lot of conflict. our kids are caught between hat field and mccoy type feuds. that's what we found ourselves in. ten years later after taking one side in the conflict, that's why over this last couple of years as we have seen 60,000 troops
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increase on the part of the u.s. over the last couple of years, we have seen the blossom. there are more every year because that money is 0e7bly going to help certain people in the population. it is efrm colluding others. so our role there with troops or with money has been -- >> we bombed out, got out of there, we beat the soviets. charlie wilson's war. we left, the tag ban took over. if we leave, how long would it take for the taliban it take over. >> i don't think they would. why would the back stannys back the taliban the way they did in the 09s? why would -- even if the it'll ban take over, why would they like al qaeda back? we bombed them once, took them out of power once. they learned their lesson. why would al qaeda want to go back? they are in pakistan, dubai, new york, london. that is like asking a modern company about the internet.
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>> men and women are there in harm's way. when they wake up in the morning who are they fighting. >> who are we fighting? >> yes. are we fighting taliban? who is on the other side of us. >> broad multidimensional insurgency. some is religious but it goes back decades. they have been fighting afghanistan since the '70s. >> so we are fighting those who oppose the central government. >> yes. >> we are karzai's garrison force? >> we are propping karzai up and making him and his cronies rich. >> okay. we leave in three, four years. is it any different if we leave now posed to then? generally we won't say more than three or four more years. at the end of three or four more years. wolf blitzer in 2014, how is it different than if we left tomorrow morning?
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>> it wouldn't be. that's why we made a mistake in 2009. the phrase i use recent sli in 2009 waist deep in quicksand, now we are chest deep under quicksand. we have been there so long, a hundred thousand contractors, tens of billions of dollars. we are propping the place up. if we pull out and leave tomorrow. >> give the president what he is due. he will bring back 10,000 troops this calendar year. then another 23,000 next time. this is leak we got, i guess. then in 2012, rather 13 and 14, we get the rest of the combat troops out. we ducing 25,000 down from a hundred thousand. what does all that add up to? what do you think of that plan? >> i don't think much of it within chris. if we don't change the strategy or be a belligerent or t.o. a
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mediator, then we are just the same conflict, this time next year with 10,000 less troops or 20,000 less troops. 2014, getting troops out is -- >> our combat troops, we still keep 25,000 trainers over there. which is amazing to me. >> so getting to that point is predicated on our militarily defeating the insurgency. we haven't seen it. for all this talk -- >> here is a dangerous point. could the president go into the most dangerous area, where is somewhere in the middle where nothing gets done. >> yes. >> the job will keep getting bigger with fewer troops. that sounds like a recipe for disaster. instead after hundred thousand troops fieghting the same war they are down to 25,000 fighting the same kind of war. >> what you get is i think the president is similar under 2009, trying to please everybody. getting a difference again which you know -- >> we will find out as the program goes on. i want to find out why the president believes this were. you don't.
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senator boxer believes we got to come home. the president doesn't quite agree. he believes we have to stretch this thing out pop thank you matthew hoh. appreciate your service. coming up, al gore is back. blasting president baks over climate change. you think rom flee or bachmann will do a better job? you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. 50 billion network devices will roam the earth. that's seven devices per person. this will change how we work in ways we've never before imagined. what do you need to secure your people, their devices, and your business? a network that can evolve and grow to protect your human network. with bengay pain relief plus massage
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they have to move too far right on the social and fiscal issues just to win the nomination. ok. [ cellphone rings ] hey. you haven't left yet. no. i'm boarding now... what's up? um...would you mind doing it again? last time. [ engine turns over ] oooohhhh...sweet. [ male announcer ] the chevy cruze with the my chevrolet app. the remote control car is finally here. well, now she's just playing with us. oh. [ horn honks ] vietnam, 1967. i got mine in iraq, 2003. u.s.a.a. auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation, because it offers a superior level of protection and because u.s.a.a.'s commitment to serve the military, veterans, and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto insurance quote. u.s.a.a. we know what it means to serve.
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in 2000, when you overwhelmingly made the decision to elect me as president, i knew the road ahead would be difficult. we have accomplished so much, yet challenges lie ahead. we've been able to stop global warming. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was "saturday night live" of course that sketch has a bitter grain of truth for al gore if he had won, chances are he would be further along about global warming. he left politics, took a low profile. now he's written that president obama has been a disappointment. he writes obama's election was accompanied by intense hope that
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many things in need of change would change. climate change, unfortunately is in the second category. gore adding president obama has thus far failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case. eric bates is executive editor of "rolling stone." thank you, joan and eric, for joining us. eric, did he come to you or did you talk to him? >> we talked to him about this. we felt that everybody knows the science. gore has made clear what the science says, that climate change is real, the planet face as grave risk. the question is why hasn't moran done to stop it? we thought he was in a position to give us an analysis of that. >> what do you think is the problem? the republican party are bakley aligning themselves in antichef science. they're willing to say they believe the world is about 5,000
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years old, they go back to fundamentalist views, and they really don't have any problem being anti-science. isn't that really the problem? not that gore has a problem with obama. >> it's interesting, the essay is about the press in the media. and how they have fallen down. gore points out the media hasn't done is job and taken a he said/she said approach, when in fact there's truth and falsity in that. >> i'm with you on there. i hate that so-called evenhanded objective journalism. you can't say something isn't true if it's true in the interest of evenhandedness. al gore has been in and out of public life, after getting screwed out of the election.
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we can argue how it was done, but it ended up being bad calls up and down bad intervention by the supreme court. we can all agree on that, a lot of us. >> yes. >> he's a qualified guy, i think he ran a terrible campaign, but he did "inconvenient truth" a hell of a documentary, and now he's back. what do you make of his going after the president in this fashion? >> well, you know, eric made a good point. i did real the whole 7,000 words. it's inspiring, a bit depressing, but most is spent on us -- not the three of us, but on the media, and on this fog that has been caused by spending, by powerful interests who are against any action on cliismt change. that's really what it's about. then he comes to obama. when he gets to obama, giving him credit for some things he's done, and it's kind of bigger than that. what he's saying is what other liberal advocates say. he hasn't told a story of, a,
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what we're up against, but also, b, what we can do about it. this speaks to something you are interested in. he talks about we could have a great industrial renaissance. we should be solving the unemployment crisis while solving the global crisis, and making national security less of an issue because we're not dependent on oil. he sees how they're interconnected. so does president obama, but president obama has gotten stuck in the gridlock of washington. >> eric, i want to go back. the house democrats who stuck their necks out on cap and trade have had their heads cut off the the senate didn't vote. the senate never got to it. you can argue it's the president's fault, but they're giving up whole states in the interest of climate change. west virginia used to be a democratic state.
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it voted for clinton. it's gone. you can't talk cap and trade in west virginia. there's a lot of places in coal country you dare not spend a nickel for climate change issues. isn't that the problem? >> we've gone from a place where we knew the crisis we were phasing. now you can't even talk reasonably about the solutions. i think that's gore's main point, the attack on climate science is on the attack on the rule of reason, an attack on our ability as a society to hold a rational debate on what the facts say and what we need to do. >> back to joan, and eric jump in, too, have we ever had a time where one side is willing to say something -- you can argue about wars and measuring facts, but here's fa fact. rush limbaugh says stuff that is -- just not true. i never use the word lie, but it's appropriate here. >> it is, it is. >> glenn beck, i hear him years ago on the radio before he was on tv saying there's no climate
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change pandering to business times. they're evil in what they're doing. i'm not saying their souls are evil, but what they're doing is really, really wrong. it's not the president. it's this corrupt media on the right. corrupt media. they're making good salaries telling people what they know is not true. rush limbaugh is not a stupid person. glenn beck is not stupid. your thoughts. >> they're serving the interests on people making a lot of money from our system being exactly the way it is, and they don't care. i think you're right. i mean, the president has had himself blocked, but there's a need for more leadership on this issue, and i think there's a feeling that he could do more than he did. i don't know what he could have done in the senate. i read the piece, i know there was a juncture back then when
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senators seemed interested and lindsey graham walked away, i think it was very complicated. i think sometimes the people ask the president to be superman in these situations. that's his job, sort of, but we have to be realistic about congress. >> joan, as always i agree with you 99% of the time. eric, good editing there. you've got a good piece there. i would say about the president, he's always my president, on some of the big ones like climate change, race, things like that, wars. my belief is this, churchhill said this once, i refuse to be impartial between the fire brigade and the fire. the president is the fire brig dade. damn it, he's not the fire. glenn become is, rush limbaugh is the fire, the chamber of commerce, the "wall street journal" editorial page, they are the fire. let's not forget it. what's george w. bush doing with a crowd of people wearing sunglasses at night? that's just about right, isn't it? you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] the network --
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well, back to "hardball." time for the sideshow. steve colbert has solved the republican party's problem for 2012. this is great stuff. here he is. >> obama leads all specific republican candidates in the polls, even beating the romney. thankfully the republicans do have a darkhorse. >> the generic republican, if you find that person, beats president obama. >> good es what? i found that person. on my way to work this morning. republican party, say hello to your generic presidential nominee. look at this guy i mean, he's got everything you want. he's got a strong stride. he's well known.
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plus he's a family man. and as you can see from the briefcase, he's got business experience. but he's also worked blue collar jobs. this guy has something for everybody. he's well read. he's outdoorsy. he loves flags. or rectangles. the only knock on this guy other than thinks head not being attached to his body is republicans do not need another candidates who spends a suspicious amount of time hanging around men's rooms. >> perfect generic candidate. he's any republican candidate, no republican person exactly. next up, the wheels on the bus go round and round, but maybe not. 2012 speculation again when sarah palin's bus started to rumble up the east coast, but then most of the headlines focused on her eating pizza with 2k07b8d trump.
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so did her road show run off-course? it's reported that her aides drafted itineraries taking her through the west and southeast this month, but the travel blueprints are now in limbo. she knows how to dart out there. that's good for publicity, not so good for actually doing anything. did you notice? and finally another history-making moment. the former president was part of the crowd at tuesday night's texas rangers game to set the new guinness records for the most people wearing sun glasses in the dark. perfect. a war without purpose? >> a half hour away from the president's speech. he is withdrawing 30,000 troops by the end of next year.
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this is "hardball." only on msnbc. what is that? it's you! it's me? alright emma, i know it's not your favorite but it's time for your medicine, okay? you ready? one, two, three. [ both ] ♪ emma, emma bo-bemma ♪ banana-fana-fo-femma ♪ fee-fi-fo-femma ♪ em-ma very good sweety, how do you feel? good. yeah? you did a really good job, okay? let's go back to drawing.
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>> i'm milissa. a magnitude 6n't 7 earthquake off the coast of japan shouldn't trigger a tsunami. the quake was well out to sea and there is no reports of damage on shore either. bern bernanke lowered the u.s. economic forecast for the rest of the year blaming inflation pressures he says should be short-lived. officials are evacuating all 11,000 residents of minot. a self help authj author ha been.
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three people were left dead. >> republican congressman ron paul of texas and massachusetts governor frank are teaming up for a bill to set their own marijuana laws without federal interference. now back it "hardball." >> just about a half hour until the president announces his plan to reduce the troops in afghanistan. we still have a hundred thousand troops in afghanistan. what have we accomplished in the decade and what will be accomplished if anything from this point forward? bob bear is a columnist for time magazine and brian cat ole s is here. bob, what have we accomplished
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since 2001. all of the debt on both sides, wounded, civilian dead and all the other un -- what can we say, you can't count a lot of it in terms of damage. what has it accomplished? >> very little. we drove al qaeda out of afghanistan into pakistan early on in the war in october, november, 2001. but since then pass if ication of the countryside. the mountain areas. the all. we are still -- >> president bush sold us on the two wars and he started both and said we will fight them there so we don't have to fight them here. is there any truth to the argument we would be fighting afghanistan people in the united states if we weren't there fighting them there?
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>> no. >> afghanistan people would have come to america to fight us? the argument to fight them there so we don't have to fight them there has no meaning? >> it holds no water. it wasn't afghans that attacked us. it was osama bin laden. it was the al qaeda. we had chapels up until9/11. they have no transport. our security is maintained here inside the country and not there. if we were to leave, would colorado there be an attack launched out of afghanistan? maybe. but certainly not fluff to keep a hundred thousand troops in that uncan i indefinitely. >> let me go to brian, that same question. what have we achieved in all of this death in iraq and afghanistan, the war that bush started. >> a big part of the problem was the iraq war. i think in afghanistan the
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initial response was warranted. then we got stuck and diverted attention to iraq. then spent about a trillion dollars. if you go back it what bin laden wanted in the 1990s, this is exactly what he wanted. he wanted us to drain our national resources and reserves. i think this is what president obama has it face. we have to rebalance. we add ten fold in troop presence. again, this is what al qaeda wanted. it cost us tens of billions of dollars, more than a trillion, between iraq and afghanistan. we have to take care of our people at home. >> we are like the portuguese and africa. very with run out of money. that's what scares me. let me get back to you, bob, and the question of afghanistan. who is the enemy in afghanistan we are fighting? isn't anybody that shoots at us becomes our enemy? because we are there, we shoot back and we target them. if you are a fighting force over there, who confronts you each
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morning? >> well, it is an enl nick war. we are fighting ethnic posh tunes. they are very distinction people. they look at us as invading their country without provocation. they are illiterate. they do not know what 9/11 is. they want us gone. 9/11 is not in their minds. a lot of them confuse us with the russianes who invaded in 1979. what we are doing is just adding to the problems by staying there. and there is, frankly, the point is, there is no way we can win this war. we would spent another hundred years. we could try to drag the people into the 21st century but i doubt we will be the ones to do it. >> it seems to me that president obama ran for president effectively, won the primaries against sin tore clinton. i think he took a position strongly against iraq. then said, there is one good g
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one, that's afghanistan. did he get himself screwed into that position saying i have to support one of the two wars so i will support afghanistan? now he will back that up and double down ever since. how did he ever get into believing into the afghanistan war? >> the democrats are looked at as being weak. he couldn't pull out of two wars at the same time. he couldn't get up and leaf iraq in 2001 and leave afghanistan at the same time then have a terrorist occur. democrats would be, on national security, ruined for a decade. >> even though there is no established between the two. >> there is no causality between the two. this is pure lay domestic issue he is fighting. people around the president know what is happening. as well as does petraeus, joint chief esz of staff. they know what the problem is. but they can't be seen pulling out of can two countries, we got
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into war necessarily. >> do you believe that? i thought petraeus was a true hawk, believing in the war because there was something to be gained out front. >> petraeus is the master of the insurgens. you got keep the populations in those countries safe. you look at afghanistan last year. there were more in afghan died last year than in the last ten years. >> we didn't lead to the taliban existing. they were there before we got there. they will be there when we gone. >> the afghan civilian daenls are mostly caused by the taliban and in reaction to the troop presence. they don't want us there. the one thing i might disagree with bob on, is there a politics in staying in afghan. there is not only why are we in war in afghanistan, but why are we in libya? >> i don't want to get into the
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others. i want to get into afghanistan because that's what the president is talking. why did the president hawk up? why is he keeping more soldiers in there for the long haul? i wonder if bush would have been staying this long. who knows. >> i think bush would have stayed this long. i think there a path dependency. >> obama came up with about 30,000 troops, now up to a hundred. >> yeah. >> and he is going the other way. >> one reason i think he might be staying in there is, across the border from afghanistan is pakistan. i think the signaling is very important. >> this is troubling. thank you. coming up, we are going hear from president obama at the top of the hour. of course we are waiting for that right now. getting ready. when we return, let's get into the politics of getting out of afghanistan, very troubling. very troubling night. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. es right now. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world.
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a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. >> just one day into his presidential campaign, and jon
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huntsman has become the hunted. he is already under siege by some republicans for supporting civil unions and working as president obama's arizona ambassador to china. now the right wing club for growth is tagging huntsman as a big spender. they are criticizing his record of spending while he was governor of utah and for calling healthcare a right. huntsman is betting he is an electable general candidate. the party is steadily tacking to the right. we'll be right back.
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>> we're back for more on the president's speech in afghanistan, which comes 15 minutes from now. let's bring in our panel.
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david gregory, eugene robinson and howard fineman. gentlemen, my first question for tonight as we set the table is what does the president believe can get done in afghanistan by spreading the pull-out out over three years. david gregory, the next three years we will be there, in flux. >> i think the big thing is to try it learn the lesson of the past 30 years. which is you cannot allow a failed state it happen again. al qaeda may be diminished, but you can't have a failed state again. that's what got us to 9/11. we know that from history. the other thing is create space. from henry kissinger, there is real belief you have to broker a deal with the taliban. they will ultimately come back into power. can you have a strong enough power in afghanistan to prevent them from coming in and committing the atrocities they
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have in the past. >> the next three years, women will be killed, children killed, it looks like 2014 under the president's timetable. >> the president believes that we can leave an afghanistan that is good enough. not that a great or has a democracy but that it is-and that it fits the criteria of not being able to be turned back into a haven for terrorists. >> again, the question that david raised there, we could bolster the sec 50u lar forces -- the secular forces on karzai's side. if the taliban comes back with the passion they have, won't they do what they did hadn't we come there? >> yes. that's the same as today. >> so you are skeptical? >> i am skeptical. i am skeptical. i believe it will look better in three years but i'm not sure it'll be better in three years.
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>> so we are moving along. will the republican demand some faster pull-out? will they jump to this surprisingly? >> well, having talked to some of them and having talked to white house people, the white house people are expecting the republicans to attack from both sides. >> okay. >> i think that's right based on the people i talked to. there is some people that will say, you know, we can't afford it. we got to get out. this is nation building that we can't do. kind of a rejection of the bush doctrine. >> is ron paul and huntsman. >> some people in the presidential race. some people in libertarian wing. what is left in the twilight of the neocons. >> mccain. >> yes. led pli mccain. >> three amigos. leiberman. >> they will stay on the floor. >> you hit it from the left, hit it from the right. >> i don't think so. >> really? >> i think in general though the president will settle for that because the republicans won't be unified as a peace party in
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afghanistan. they are focusing on libya. they say libya is -- that's obama's war. >> right. >> let me go to david gregory. have you covered the white house all these years as well as "meet the is it unusual for a democrat facing fire from the left, if you will, about a war? >> well, right. from republicans you mean. >> yes. >> he's searchly getting it from the left of his own party, that you would expect. but from the right, the wonderful position, the luxury of not having a republican president who initiated the policy to have to defend. so they want separation from george w. bush. they want separation from a war that is ten years on that is not producing great results, as gene suggested, echoing what general petraeus says. we want an afghanistan that's good enough. this is not winning the hearts and minds of the people here. but look there's war weariness. the dominant force in the republican party is the tea party, a smaller government. limiting the full scope of the united states around the world to focus on some of the needs
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that are here. that may sound a lot like the liberals in this country, but the reality is that across the board there is war weariness that i think republicans are reflecting that. >> gene, all sides left, right and center, in the sense that i don't want to say we're colonial, but old powers, we're becoming an old power, end up quitting wars in third world countries or other countries because they run out of money. wars of attrition are lost by the home country time and time again because the locals never leave. they just keep fighting. >> exactly. locals live there. imperial countries run out of money and they also -- they run out of the will to continue these kinds of occupations. and these sorts of -- >> it's not ideological that says we should be liberal or isolationists, it's simply the treasury is bleeding. >> that's right, that's right. ironically the killing of osama bin laden ended up allowing some republicans on the tea party side to say george bush -- let's
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give george bush the gold watch. he deserves some credit sglofort and we're out. i think gene is right about the hill. if you spend any time on the hill, they have had enough. people are worried about the crumbling bridges at home and not the ones in kandahar. >> thank you, david gregory, thank you, eugene robinson, thank you, howard fineman. we're going to wait a couple of minutes for the president to speak. a little more time before that. stay with us, you're watching "hardball" getting ready for the president's tough speech on afghanistan. elping drive the future of business. in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ machines have a voice. ♪ medical history follows you. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities... committed to delivering the most advanced mobile broadband experience to help move business... forward. ♪
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we're back as we're waiting for the president in just a few minutes to make his announcement about the draw down of troops from afghanistan at the top of the hour. eugene robinson of the "washington post" and howard fineman are still with us. my third question tonight is will it be the economy that drives us down. the american people are watching tonight. he'll get a good audience tonight, as we know, on this network as well as elsewhere. the question is what are they listening for? are they listening for the end of the war or just bad news it's not going to end? >> i think they'll be listening for when are we going to bring the troops home. i think in that sense they'll be mostly disappointed. it's nice that 10,000 troops will come home. >> so our friends that watch this network as well as elsewhere will be watching, the american left audience will be left out, you think. >> yeah, i think so. even after all the 30,000 surge
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troops are home, there still will be 68,000 -- >> twice as many as he started with, just about. >> roughly. >> so we're going two steps forward, one step backward. >> one step sideways. >> the problem you have to ask yourself is the american people, especially the people who got involved in the obama campaign early on, were anti-iraq war. in all fairness to him he never ran against the afghanistan war but nobody thought he would double down. >> not only did he run against it, he ran toward it because it was the counter balance to the notion that he was weak on defense and he argued i think persuasively that that's where the enemy was. >> and then we caught hem. >> right. and what the white house officials are saying now is, okay, we've caught -- we've degraded, that's the phrase they always use. we've degraded the al qaeda capabilities in that country. >> that's a war of attrition language. >> so but then it would follow that we would get out. not that we would take three years and still have 68,000 troops there after next summer. >> let me offer my brief now. i think all three of us if we
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sat around and did knit our sleep would say who's smarter, obama or biden. we'd say obama is close to a genius, biden is a smart guy but not up on obama's level. yet biden has been sharp on this and has said counterterrorism should be our game. we should try to catch bin laden and the bad guys and stay out of these turf wars in that part of the world because we'll always end up playing defense. >> they're telling themselves that's what they're doing. the white house people are satisfying all those troops are there basically now for one more punch, which is the last surge. >> at the taliban. >> yes. and train -- they are so proud of the fact that there is a military academy in afghanistan. >> oh, yeah. >> as if -- as if they have told themselves that they're creating this structure. >> i think it's fighting over neighborhoods in south philly. it just looks to me like who's got this block, who's got that block and we're fighting a war which will eventually leave because we have to come home eventually. >> exactly. >> two years from now, three
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years from now. >> they live there, the afghans live there. >> don't you think the taliban will be run the country. >> it's been afghanistan for 3,000 years, 5,000 years. >> it's the worst place in the world. there's never been a nation really built there in 3,000 years. >> what do you think the russians are thinking of this war. >> they are saying we went through this movie. the russians are saying we lived through this movie. the administration is saying we've got to keep an eye on pakistan. pakistan is the place where the real problem is. but you're not saying, i don't think they have saying, that we're leaving 60,000 troops there for two or three years because we're worried about pakistan, because we're not going to use the troops from afghanistan in pakistan. >> but that's a legitimate discussion to have about pakistan. what sort of presence do we need in the region. >> is that the jumping off point for pakistan if we need it? is that what he's holding the troops there for? >> that's kblitcation. >> but let's have that discussion. >> the problem is the pakistanis don't want to hear that. maybe the smart thing i


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